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Harare City Council on Wednesday started demolishing illegal structures in the central business district. City spokesman Lesley Gwindi told The Herald that council would not allow lawlessness and would ensure all illegal structures were destroyed.

“Our teams are moving around the CBD identifying such structures for demolition. The city council is committed to restoring and maintaining the sunshine city status of Harare.”

Council workers swooped on the First Street Mall and brought down several kiosks.

Last week, council demolished illegal structures at the Speke Avenue bus rank commonly known as Copacabana, and illegal structures at the Fourth Street rank are also being destroyed. The illegal structures are mainly cubicles and kiosks where people sell different wares, largely electronics. Mr Gwindi aised owners of the illegal structures to remove their wares before council teams arrive.

Urban planners say illegal structures destroy the aesthetic quality of the city, and put a strain on city resources as owners are not paying rates. They also say they diminish the value of surrounding buildings.

The council through a public-private sector partnership initiative with TV talent show Starbrite, Beta Holdings and other players has embarked on a programme to renovate First Street Mall.

The mall will get a facelift with the council renovating pavements and other dilapidated infrastructure.

Source : The Herald